Our favorite live music memories and favorite bands to see in concert. Prioritization of thinness and seeking validation for weight loss. Rage against the before/after photos and much, much more!
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This is Joy & Claire Episode 139: Flavors of Validation
Episode Date: August 11, 2022
Transcription Completed: October 31, 2022
Audio Length: 43:11 minutes
Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.
Claire: And this is Claire. Good morning.
Joy: How is everybody doing? Wherever you are, we are here with you.
Claire: That sounds like the beginning of a Backstreet Boys song.
Joy: [laughing] You know they came to concert here a couple weeks ago?
Joy: Yeah. I’m kind of kicking myself that I didn’t go.
Joy: Well it was at Green… whatever it’s called?
Claire: Fiddler’s Green.
Joy: Yeah, Fiddler’s Green. And I was like, I don’t want to travel down there. You guys, this is where snobbiness kicks in, and I’m like, “I don’t want to drive that far.”
Claire: It’s less than an hour. Not far.
Joy: It’s not that far. But it’s also just a part of town where I’m like, so exhausting.
Claire: It’s hard to get to.
Joy: Because I live close to most of the popular –
Claire: Yeah, you live a cheap Uber ride away from most of the other venues.
Claire: When I was in early high school, I was really into pop punk.
Joy: Like Fallout Boy?
Claire: Not even Fallout Boy. I would consider that to be pop emo. Like Green Day.
Claire: Randomly, I have seen Green Day in concert more than anyone else.
Joy: Okay, next time they come, will you go with me? They are my favorite. To this day, the best concert I’ve ever seen.
Claire: Honestly, I could take or leave their music just if I’m driving, but they do have such good concerts.
Joy: Oh, the concerts, yeah.
Claire: I’m not going to just turn on Green Day while I’m drinking my coffee.
Joy: No, definitely not. But I appreciate their music so much, just because they’re Green Day. I get very attached to bands and their relationships to each other and because they’ve known each other since they were like ten years old. I always get into the stories of that.
Claire: I’ll totally go with you. I remember seeing them at Red Rocks. I was 14. This would have been 2002 or 2003. And then I saw them at the Pepsi Center in probably 2004.
Joy: Oh, I bet you I was there too.
Claire: Stop it.
Joy: The Pepsi Center one was so fun when all the confetti fell.
Claire: And I was on the floor.
Joy: So was I!
Claire: Oh my gosh.
Joy: We were probably next to each other.
Claire: Probably just danced right by you.
Joy: We never knew what was to come.
Claire: I mean, I was young enough that I couldn’t drive myself to either of those concerts.
Joy: Oh, that’s so funny. I went with a guy – hi, Jerry.
Claire: Hi, Jerry. In general, I am not that into live music. I feel like for me, I don’t like crave that kind of experiential music. To me, music is something that’s on in the background.
Joy: Okay. Not like Scott Parrish level of like, he’s into it.
Claire: No, and I appreciate that this is not the way that most people – I mean, a lot of people buy music as part of their personality.
Joy: For sure.
Claire: And I don’t begrudge that at all. I’m not like, “Ugh, what are you doing?” I get it. I’m just not that person. Which saves me thousands of dollars a year probably.
Joy: Same here. I am not at that level. I will go to see people I have a really strong connection to, but I don’t get into it on the level of Scott where he is going to at least one concert a month. At least. Because he just has to see live music.
Claire: And then I think that there is another subset of that personality type which I think is music festival people.
Joy: Oh yeah. Music festival people. I was actually just talking about this when I got my haircut, and she was talking about how she goes to this dance – we were talking about Burning Man and Coachella.
Claire: Man, Burning Man and Coachella are like their own personality trait.
Joy: Yeah, exactly. They definitely are in the DSM-5. So the festival that she goes to is just like this local dance festival that’s at the Bronco’s Stadium parking lot, and they do it every year.
Claire: Maxine went to that.
Joy: Oh, she did? How fun. And I can totally see how it would be a young, clubbish vibe.
Claire: Yeah, and you have your outfit.
Claire: You have the whole thing. Yeah.
Joy: So I was talking to her, and I said, there’s a part of me that really wants to experience it once. But I would just have to do a lot of drugs to get through it. And then I’m also like, I don’t do drugs, so that might actually be a bad thing because I don’t know if I would enjoy it. But anyway, basically I’m like, do I need to experience Burning Man at least once in my life just so I can get dressed up? Or do I just let that go? Or Coachella?
Claire: You know what? You could just dress like that and go out to dinner in Boulder.
Joy: Yeah, it’s true. Because I fit in in Boulder.
Claire: Yeah. People would be like, “Oh look, that lady is going to get some sushi.”
Joy: But you know what, it just feels like it is an experience –
Claire: I agree. It’s a whole experience. I have some friends who are like lifelong music festival people.
Joy: Yeah. Do you have friends who will be the three days in a row Fishpeople?
Claire: Oh, one thousand percent. I have those people.
Joy: I don’t get it. Please tell them. Gypsy Kings. Please make it make sense to me.
Claire: Widespread Panic.
Joy: Please make it make sense to me.
Claire: You know what, let’s be honest though.
J: Look, look. I have those friends.
C: I do too. Okay, I’m going to out myself here, and just say that I cannot stand jam band music.
Joy: I can’t either.
Claire: In the same way, I also don’t even really like jazz.
Joy: Okay. I have no opinion about it because I have not steeped myself in –
Claire: I think jazz – again, I don’t want to slam jam bands because I don’t know anything about them. So me, jazz is more culturally interesting.
Joy: Yes, for sure.
Claire: I can appreciate it from the standpoint of this was a huge musical – there’s so much –
Joy: There’s so much history there.
Claire: History and culture there. But I don’t like listening to it. And for the same reason that I don’t like listening to jam bands. Which is that in my brain, I need a song to have a start, a stop, a chorus. I need to be able to follow along. If I’m listening to a song and I look up 20 minutes later and I’m like, “Is this the same song, or are we on a different song now?” I’m not having a good time. My brain is not enjoying that.
Joy: But are you okay with the ten-minute version of the Taylor Swift –
Joy: What the hell is the name of that song?
Claire: I don’t know.
Joy: I just listened to it yesterday. “All Too Well,” yeah.
Claire: I mean, I guess, fine. I can sort of appreciate it objectively. That’s an interesting artistic decision or whatever. But I’m not going to be like, “Ten minutes of this, give it to me.” I don’t know. My brain needs a little bit more structure in my music listening.
Joy: Yeah, I can appreciate that.
Claire: I don’t like just sort of long, rambling songs.
Joy: I don’t either.
Claire: So that sort of precludes me from most music festivals. I also can appreciate that – I mean, I get it. You’re there with your friends and you have outfits and you may or may not be taking some substances that help you just relax when the song just keeps going forever and ever. So anyway. All that to say –
Joy: It’s an interesting thing. I’m glad we’re talking about this because it is so interesting to me. We do, we have those friends that will go to three nights in a row of Fish. Or three nights in a row of Widespread Panic.
Claire: I work with this guy who he’s a little bit newer to the team. Recently at a sales meeting, he did a little “intro to me” slide. Because he was giving the presentation and he was like, “I know a lot of people here don’t know me yet. Here’s a little bit about me.” And one of them was that he has been to like hundreds of Widespread Panic shows.
Joy: Oh no. When they hold that as a badge of honor. Are we going to have to worry about you?
Claire: To be clear, I used to go to a gym in Broomfield. I loved the owners, and it was called Widespread CrossFit.
Joy: Okay. Because of Widespread Panic.
Claire: That guy was so into Widespread Panic that he named his business after it.
Joy: Yeah. And okay, there’s a part of me – just before people get upset and think that we’re trash talking – there is a part of me that wishes that I could get into something like that. There is a part of me that wishes that I was obsessed with one band, with a sports team, with a football team, with a basketball team. To where you’re getting all the gear and you’re getting all amped up to go to the concerts, and it’s a yearly thing with your friends. There is a part of me that wishes that I had that bone in my body, and I just don’t have it. I just don’t care enough to be like, “Yeah, let’s go!” I’ve always been this way. And I know that not everyone goes and does drugs and drinks a lot. But I associate that with in order to really have fun standing around and tailgating for hours beforehand. I’m not going to just sit around and… I don’t know, play games. There’s a part of me that’s like you kind of have to do some drugs or drink to sit there for hours. I don’t know, maybe not.
Claire: Maybe a less blanket statement way to say what you’re trying to say is that for me personally to find something like that interesting, I don’t imagine I could be engaged in that for that amount of time unless I was intoxicated.
Joy: Exactly, yeah.
Claire: That is not something that I personally find a lot of joy in, being intoxicated for an entire day.
Joy: No, I don’t enjoy that, and I would probably be asleep before the band took the stage.
Joy: That’s a whole other issue. It’s impressive for those of you who do that.
Claire: I would go to three nights in a row of Britney Spears.
Joy: I would 100% go to Vegas and see her if she went to do her residency again and I could stay in the hotel that she was in. I would do that one thousand percent.
Claire: So we say we would never do this, but there are people out there who we do find culturally significant enough, who we do feel connected to enough that if you were to say, “Hey, Britney is headlining Red Rocks for the next three nights,” you would be like, “Yeah, I’m going all three nights.”
Joy: All three nights.
Claire: And I’m wearing a different outfit every night.
Claire: And I’m tailgating, and I’m bringing my snacks.
Joy: Because to me, that would be a once in a lifetime event. That would be a once in a lifetime event. Okay.
Claire: We’ve come full circle.
Joy: We are walking that back.
Claire: You did not tell us that Backstreet Boys came to town.
Joy: Yeah, and that Green Day is the best live show that I’ve seen. You know what, let’s see. Let me rank a few.
Claire: Because despite everything you just said, you do go to live music. You are on the higher end of people I know at least that go see music. And part of that is because you’re married to someone who is obsessed with music. And not only that, Scott has this talent – I mean, you guys know. We talk about Scott having this talent for gifts. Scott has a talent for tickets.
Joy: Yes, he does.
Claire: He will find the box seats or the front row orchestra seating.
Joy: He has miraculous luck.
Claire: Two hours before the concert is going to start for $80. You guys sat almost on the floor for Bruce Springsteen.
Claire: And you got those tickets that day, didn’t you?
Joy: That day.
Claire: And they were under $100.
Claire: Yeah, that doesn’t happen.
Joy: No. But I call it good karma. I’m like, “You always have good ticket karma.” Because he will give tickets away. If he has tickets to a show and he’s like, “I just don’t want to try to sell these,” he’ll give them away to somebody. He is very much this – I don’t know. I think it’s good juju because he is never trying to make a bunch of money off of tickets if he ends up not being able to go.
Claire: Right. He is not turning around and then reselling the same seats for $500.
Joy: Oh no. Yeah.
Claire: He totally sees it as… what’s the word I’m looking for?
Joy: He wants to give away an experience to someone else, and he doesn’t want to charge them for it.
Claire: Like, he’s the… what’s the word I’m looking for?
Claire: Yeah. Like he is the purveyor of the secret tickets.
Claire: In the same way that he is the purveyor of the super niche perfect gift idea. Scott is a curator.
Joy: He’s definitely a curator. That’s such a great talent. Because if there is a show that I want to go to – and the main secret, guys, which it’s not really a huge secret, is that he has all the ticket apps on his phone and he will scour them constantly. Because tickets drop last minute all the time. So you just have to be really persistent. You can’t just look once and be like, “Well, there’s no tickets available.” You have to look throughout the day. So he will do that on his breaks, when he’s on calls.
Claire: He gets tickets from people who are like, “Oh, we got four seats, and then our two friends weren’t able to come at the very last minute. Their babysitter got sick. Now, it’s 90 minutes before the show starts, and we just want people to use these tickets.”
Joy: Exactly, exactly. It’s really a gift. But if I’m ranking – I just have to get this out of my system of ranking shows. I want to hear if you have favorite shows that you’ve seen. The ones that stick out in my mind – well, just because it was really fun that my mom went with me, but we did see NKOTBSB. So we saw New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys. I want to say it was 2010, 2011, 2012, around there. In Arizona. So my friend Cindy, my mom, and I went and saw them. And that was real fun because Kevin – was it Kevin? I think it was AJ. AJ walked right by us, and we were so excited. That was a great show. But Green Day just lives in my mind as one of the most fun nights of my life. They just played at Lollapalooza, so we watched them live at Lollapalooza on Hulu. That was just so much fun. We were like dancing in the living room. They’re so good at what they do. They’re so good at doing live shows. They always bring people on stage. It’s just the energy is just phenomenal. And I will say any Arcade Fire concert that I’ve been to has been magical. I went to the Green Day concert with this guy that I used to date named Jerry who still goes to my CrossFit gym from when I was going to CrossFit. I ran into him the other day in our neighborhood. He still lives in our neighborhood. And I got to say, it’s always a jolt to see someone you dated, even if it’s 15-20 years later.
Claire: Also, you’ve seen him dozens of times.
Joy: All the time because he would go to my CrossFit gym.
Claire: It’s not like, “Oh my gosh, I haven’t seen him in years.”
Joy: No, it’s so funny. So the other day, I was taking JT to the vet. I walked out, and he was right there. I was like, “Oh hey, Jerry, how is it going?” But anyway.
Claire: Evie snuck in here and she’s telling me to, “Shh, be quiet” so Maxine doesn’t find her.
Joy: Oh, that’s so cute. [laughing] You guys, she is just hiding behind the door. She’s holding onto the doorknob. “Shh, be quiet.”
Claire: Why are you in here? Are you hiding?
Joy: She says, “Because.”
Claire: “Because, because.”
[Evie speaking inaudibly.]
Claire: No, leave that picture here please. You can be in here, but you have to be quiet okay. I said, “Evie, you can be in here, but you have to be quiet.” And she goes, “So Maxine doesn’t find me.”
Joy: Yes, that too.
Claire: Oh goodness.
Joy: So what are your favorite shows off the top of your head.
Claire: My very first concert was Christina Aguilera, and Destiny’s Child opened for her.
Joy: Oh no, you did not see Beyonce in the beginning days. That’s amazing.
Claire: So that one is really memorable. What was your first concert?
Joy: My first concert – don’t laugh you guys. My first concert was Amy Grant and Peter Cetera.
Claire: Oh, that is amazing. I feel like you’ve talked about that. Evie, I am on the phone. I am not going to be quiet. I am talking.
Evie: You have to be quiet.
Claire: I can’t be quiet.
Evie: You have to be quiet before Maxine finds me.
Claire: Maxine is not going to find me. I’m supposed to be in here.
Claire: Okay. So that was really memorable. I saw NSYNC. Pretty much all my early teenage concerts. I saw NSYNC, I think it must have been at the Bronco Stadium. And yeah, when I saw Green Day that was really good. I went to this concert in Red Rocks called “Punk Rocks on the Rock” when I was like 14. I should not have been at that concert.
Joy: There’s things that I’m like, “I should not have been at this show.” But my friend who had older siblings would always take us, and my parents were just like, “Okay, sure.” I think they took us to like a Duran Duran concert. Anyway, so.
Claire: I mean, my first CD and I was probably like 6 or 7 years old was Boyz II Men. I shouldn’t have had that CD.
Joy: No. Well my first record my aunt got me was “Like a Virgin.” I was 7. My mom was probably like, “Hmm, thanks Aunt Laura.”
Claire: What’s the worst concert you’ve ever been to?
Joy: Oh my God, the worst one was – okay, my friend and I went to see, I want to say it was Jason Mraz, which he was phenomenal. But I think Howie Day either opened for him or I don’t know. This was probably 2005 or 2006. So Jason Mraz was in the height of his Jason Mraz-ness. He did great. But then I think Howie Day did some follow up or opener. I can’t remember what the direction was, if he was before or after. But he shows up late, and he was so wasted that he just walks on stage, grabs a keyboard, and starts doing one of those slide things. Maybe it was one of those slide guitars, and he just did some random music for like 20 minutes. Everyone is like, you know, we really want to hear the song that’s really popular on the radio right now. Not some random stream of consciousness.
Claire: Not you just free styling.
Joy: Yes, and it was horrible.
Claire: We did not come here to hear Howie Day free style.
Joy: It was horrible. So we just left. But it was like, oh, poor Howie Day, he’s not doing too well. It was bad.
Claire: It was not a good day to be Howie Day. That’s really funny. I would say it wasn’t a bad concert per se. It was just really weird. I saw Flight of the Concords but at Red Rocks.
Joy: Yeah, you told me. It just wasn’t the venue for that.
Claire: It just wasn’t the venue. Their whole show was basically – if Flight of the Concords is not familiar to you, this is a show sort of this borderline sketch comedy –
Joy: Like The Lonely Island, guys.
Claire: I have never seen The Lonely Island.
Joy: Amy Sandberg, all those guys on SNL
Claire: It’s a very sort of SNL spinoff vibe of a show. It’s a New Zealand based show. The two main characters are these comedians, and part of it is that they sang these silly songs. So they ended up going on tour. But their whole show was set up as a skit. It would have been great if it had been a small venue and it sort of felt like you were at an open mic night sort of thing. Not at a giant world renowned almost stadium.
Joy: Yeah, because we saw Tenacious D with Jack Black.
Claire: Oh, that would be so fun.
Joy: In a small venue, and it was perfect. It was so fun.
Claire: You need that back-and-forth energy.
Joy: Yes. The first thing that they did – so they had the stage set up so that there was just this couch on the stage. It was empty obviously. They hadn’t come on stage yet. We’re thinking, oh cool, they’re just going to sit on a couch and hang out or whatever. And then the lights go out, and the lights come back on, and they are just both on the couch pretending like they are sleeping with blankets over them. And then they slowly rise and look at the audience like, “Where the “f” are we?” It was so funny. It was such a good show. I love Jack Black so much. He’s the best.
Claire: I do love Jack Black. That would be a really good one to see.
Joy: It was great.
Claire: Alright. So that’s probably enough reminiscing about live music.
Joy: This has been the music 101 show.
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Joy: I’ve been starting your routine of taking the – not the brushing of the teeth after… or before? What do you do? You brush your teeth, and then you take your magnesium?
Claire: Magnesium is a little bit earlier, and then I brush my teeth –
Joy: Oh, it’s the CBD oil. That’s right.
Claire: I brush my teeth, and then CBD.
Joy: And then your CBD, got it. I’ve been doing just the Mello Magnesium at night, and that’s been lovely. I’m reading on their website right now of all the great things that are in Mello. We encourage you to check it out. They have so much transparency on their website of where their products come from. And if you did not hear the episode with one of the co-founders, Ret, you can go back and listen to that episode. We really get into the mission behind Ned. As you guys know if you’ve listened to this podcast over the years, we don’t like to promote products that we don’t use and love ourselves. So please support the podcast. Thank you so much, Ned, for supporting our podcast.
Claire: Alright, so this weekend I was on a hike with my friend Amanda – hi, Amanda.
Joy: Hi, Amanda.
Claire: And we started talking about Diane Sanfilippo newer podcast. I think there’s maybe two dozen or so episodes out there already. I think I’ve heard one or two episodes. We’ve been following Diane for a long time. I think we’re going to try to have her on the podcast here soon. But it just started this conversation with Amanda and I about this post-diet culture culture. Like people who have been advocates of diets in the past who are coming around and saying, “Wait a minute. Maybe I shouldn’t have been doing that.” Or it’s time for us to reexamine that and move away from it. And we were talking about the difference between being the person who says, “Hey, this is what’s out there. Here’s how you should notice that these thoughts are influenced by diet culture. Here is how you should notice these patterns are influenced by diet culture. And here’s all the stuff that we’ve been taking for granted, and it’s all diet culture, diet culture,” versus the people who are just sort of living their lives outside of diet culture and not calling it out as much.
Claire: I think this is something that we’ve talked a lot about when it comes to body image. Sometimes it’s even more powerful when you see somebody who has a post where they’re not looking as posed or polished as maybe most people would, and the caption is all about how they posted this photo anyway even though they don’t look amazing because it doesn’t matter what you look like, and you should take photos anyway. Versus the person who posts that photo and doesn’t call out, “Hey, you should post the photo anyway.” It’s just, “A day at the beach” without calling out, “I went to the beach, and I was nervous about putting on the bikini, but I did it anyway.” Kind of the difference between the person who is still in it by virtue of the fact that everything they do is still sort of, here is how I’m not participating in diet culture. And the person who is just sort of like, eh, I’ve moved on and here is my life.
Joy: It’s not even in your vocabulary. It’s not in your periphery. It’s nowhere to be seen. I think that’s a really important distinction. I know that people feel very differently. There will be a lot of comments when we talk about this. “But I really needed to lose blah blah blah, and I was so proud of it, and I actually really loved when people would comment on my weight.” And I think there’s no black and white to this conversation. With anything, it really depends. But I can’t help but think about the larger picture and influence that diet culture as on us. That’s where I go with it. Great for you if that is something that you can do in the “healthy mindset” of it all. But I just have what I feel is a personal responsibility to really shed light on how damaging diet culture is as a whole and that it will always be present, so we have to be even stronger talking against it and making people aware of how easy it can just slip into your life, how easy it is. That’s what is important to me. Not about every single person has to jump on the anti-diet train, but that is just my lens because it’s everywhere and I worry about people. I see the damage that it does to people, whether it be in my practice or in my personal life. I’m not speaking to everybody, I just want to make that clear. Because I know we’ll get an email of someone who has really worked really hard to lose an amount of weight for whatever reason that they wanted to, and that’s great if that’s something in your life that you have a personal relationship with that’s good for you. We’re not bashing that. I’m just saying, bigger picture.
Claire: Yeah. I think it is hard for me when people post things like, “Stop commenting on people’s bodies, for better or for worse. Just find something else to talk about.” And inevitably we’ll get a few messages saying, “But I want people to comment about my body. I put a lot of work into it, and I want people to notice.” Part of me wants to take a step back and say, but why do you want people to notice?
Joy: Yeah, it’s really interesting. This brings up – someone commented on my shoulders. I have not had a comment on my body in so long. This was an acquaintance in real life. It wasn’t on social media or anything. It kind of jolted me. I was very dismissive. I was trying to turn the conversation away because they kind of kept asking questions of like, “Well, how do you do that?” And I was like, “Well, it’s kind of genetics.” I was just really passive.
Claire: My skeleton just grew this way.
Joy: If you look at my dad, it’s probably not hard to tell where I get my body type. So all that to say is I am grateful that I’ve been so far removed. And I think that you and I have developed a safe place corner of the internet where that is just not talked about. And if you want to go to a corner of the internet where that exists, then that’s fine. Everyone has the will to do whatever you want. Clearly. I was struck by how impactful that comment was because it just isn’t in my life anymore, and I don’t talk about that stuff anymore, and I don’t really absorb it anymore. Do I see things that I’m like, I don’t want to go there? Yeah, I notice the contrast much stronger because when I see someone who is posting things that are like, “Eat this meal for this effect on your body” and “eat this type of diet for these abs,” whatever, it’s very much like, oh yeah, I used to kind of be in that world and now we’re stepping away from that. Or we have been. It was something where I was like, woah, I haven’t felt this weird cringy feeling in a long time.
Claire: Right. I think part of this is that within diet culture, so much of this is so normalized and has been for a long time. Especially if you’re somebody who is in their 30’s and 40’s, which I think the majority of our listeners are, it was something that was so pervasive as you were growing up that you didn’t give it a second thought because there wasn’t an alternative. If you grew up in mainstream culture, then these are the things that you grew up believing and you didn’t question them because that’s just how it was. You didn’t think to yourself – like we talked about the Victoria’s Secret documentary a few weeks ago. A lot of people have sent us this song that somebody wrote in that same time frame that’s like, “I know Victoria’s Secret. She was made up by a man.” But when you were growing up, you didn’t question that this person was the pinnacle of beauty. You don’t even think, “Oh, society is saying that.” You’re just like, this is what it is. You’re a teenager or you’re in your early 20’s, and this is what it is. The conversations didn’t exist then around even having the awareness to step outside of that and say, but why is it that way? It wasn’t even a question. It was just, this is what it is. Enter people would be like, “This isn’t realistic. These people are airbrushed in magazines.” But the airbrushed in magazines thing was where it stopped. It wasn’t like, this is a homogenous body viewpoint. It was just like, “Oh you know, real people don’t look like that. These people are airbrushed.” Not like, “Hey, we should stop and examine why this combination of characteristics is desirable.”
Claire: I think that is something that I take for granted, is having the awareness – back to someone who says, “But I want people to comment on my body.” And asking them, “Well, why do you want people to comment on your body?” What is it about your external – why are you looking for that particular flavor of validation? Why do you want people to see that you lost weight and praise you for that? Why is that worthy of praise? Sure, you’ve put in hard work. But what about that do you feel is worthy of external validation. Or not even worthy but is in need of external validation.
Joy: In need of external validation. I am going to just project and think – I’m making assumptions, just based off of our culture. Thinness is praised. Not historically, but in the past 20-30 years has been the “standard.” Everything is in air quotes. Therefore smaller equals better.
Claire: I get it from that lens. From a diet culture lens, I agree. And that’s what we’re saying. Is there a reason that is not rooted in the prioritization of thinness that you would want external validation for weight loss?
Claire: I don’t have an answer for that. Maybe there is something out there. To me, it’s hard to imagine that. I think a lot of people would say, “It’s because I put in a lot of work, and I want that work to be validated.” But then why can’t someone come up to you and say, “Hey, I’ve noticed you’ve been really working hard at eating this certain way. Good job on your hard work.” That’s not a comment about your body. It’s like, “Hey, that recipe looks really good. I’ve noticed you’ve put a lot of effort into trying new foods lately. It looks like you’re really working on eating more vegetables. That’s awesome that you’re doing that.” That to me is a recognition of you’re putting in hard work. Food planning or grocery shopping was always really stressful for you, and now you’re doing this food prep system, and your really good friend can be like, “I’ve noticed you’ve started doing that. It’s really helping you out. That’s so cool. I’m so glad that you found that.” That’s not a comment about your body.
Joy: I think this goes into some of the discussion that we had with Molly. I did this on the Girls Gone WOD feed. We had a conversation with Molly Bahr about intuitive eating, and that’s one way of looking at things but how it’s not black and white, that it’s not one thing or another thing. A lot of things can be true at the same time. But once we open the door to say, “Well, what if I want to eat healthy, and that’s feeding into diet culture?” Well, not really. I talk to a lot of people about this in counseling too. They have a really hard time separating – if I try to exercise and eat right, I’m feeding into diet culture. Not necessarily. It’s how you feel about yourself and the voices that are in your head around it. If you’re sitting there going, “I’ve got to hustle. I’ve got to grind every day because I have to be” fill in the blank diet culture statement.
Claire: Never miss a Monday. And you’re coming at it from, if I mess this up, that means that I am lazy. That means that I am equating those things with negativity about yourself. Versus, hey, I’m going to try really hard to get to the gym on Monday because I know that makes me feel better. I know that sets up my habits in a way that takes less effort. Same action, different motivation.
Joy: Yes. And different internal dialogue. And I think the internal dialogue is really key. So I think about that piece of it’s fine if you want to eat fruits and vegetables more often if you want to eat – I don’t want to say “healthier” choices. I don’t really understand that. But if you want to objectively look at food, sure, there’s foods that nourish your body differently. Okay. So those things that are just a neutral fact.
Claire: Right. If you want to prioritize a wide variety of choices and plants and non-processed foods. I mean, I think we’ve talked about this years ago with [INAUDIBLE 00:32:19.11] where in the same way that it’s all about motivation, we also need to be honest that you’re not getting the same nutrition from a donut that you are from a salad. Those are two wide variety extremes. But the problem is that we’ve assigned moral priority. Well then, that makes salad better than a donut. Well, it’s not better or worse. It’s just two different things. You would never sit there and be like, well, my pajamas – this is a bad example because I think you would say that your pajamas are better than a work suit. You would never say, hey, my blue leggings are better than my black leggings. They are just different.
Joy: They are just different.
Claire: And that is the neutral mindset that is a helpful steppingstone to get away from the constant diet culture buzz. But at the same time, we need to acknowledge there are some choices that are going to be more nourishing to your body than others objectively. So let’s not pretend that they’re not. But at the same time, let’s not make it something that it’s not in a moral sense.
Joy: Right. Let’s not demonize a donut. Let’s not demonize any food.
Claire: No one is saying donuts are healthy. But what we are saying is there’s nothing wrong with eating them.
Joy: They’re delicious!
Claire: That’s been the problem is it’s been very black and white. If this isn’t healthy, you shouldn’t eat it. No, no.
Claire: So then people say, well then, if the only things that can go in the “you can eat them” category are healthy things, then I’m going to try to justify why these unhealthy things are healthy. We’re saying just get rid of “I can only eat healthy things.” I can eat whatever I want. It doesn’t matter if it’s “healthy” or “unhealthy.” It doesn’t matter the micronutrient content or the fiber content or if this is a plant or a donut. But I’m maybe going to try to take that information from my body after I do eat it and think, okay, “How do I want to feel?” And I’m going to use some objective information about how I feel after I eat certain things, use that to inform my decisions about when I choose to eat what.
Joy: Yes. And I think the kicker, what you just said, is objective information. We can’t – I shouldn’t say we all – but most of us cannot, and I think we’re getting there collectively, hopefully, don’t know what it’s like to just be objective about food or our bodies. We cannot. We can’t. So we really need to work on that piece of just being super objective of looking at it for what it is. If you have a reaction when you see people posting food. Let’s take Emily Schuman for example who has the Cupcakes & Cashmere blog that lives my dream life in Los Angeles. She is always posting the most delicious treats, candies. I see people comment and they’re like, “How do you keep so thin by eating all this?” I just want to go through the screen and be like, why is that a problem? You don’t know her genetics. You don’t know her diet choices. And who cares?
Claire: Just, why does it matter?
Joy: Why does it matter? But people want to go there because then you’re equating a type of food to having more weight on your body, and that’s ridiculous. That’s ridiculous. So anyway, that’s just what diet culture has done to us. I think the original comment around this whole topic of Diane’s new podcast, which is great – it’s called Full Plate. I’ve only listened to a handful of episodes, but it’s a nice turn to see what she’s done over the years. I think a lot of us have kind of evolved and pushed up against the social media diet culture crap that’s constantly coming at us. But this is just a friendly reminder that if you’re following someone and these emotions are coming up of either negativity or diet culture, posting pictures of their bodies, before and afters. If it makes you feel bad about yourself, like, “Oh, I should do this” or “I should be doing that,” maybe give it an unfollow or mute it for a while. What is your opinion about posting pictures of bodies of before and afters?
Claire: I’m not for it. I think there is no way that I’ve ever seen that. There’s no motivation for that that I’ve ever heard that passes the body neutrality check. There is no way to compare side by side photos of yourself or anyone else that does not inherently lend itself to saying one is better than the other.
Joy: To prioritizing thinness.
Claire: The question that you need to ask yourself is what beauty standard is being upheld here. Something right now that makes me crazy is people who will enter body building competitions and say, “I just want to see what my body is capable of.”
Joy: Oh, I can’t. I can’t. “I’m doing an experiment.” “I just want to experiment.”
Claire: “I’m doing this to learn. I just want to see what my body is capable of.” You know what, if you want to go on that journey and keep it to yourself because you are curious about your personal body and what this experience will personally feel like to you, I’m not going to begrudge you. But when I see it with somebody who has tens or hundreds of thousands of followers and they’re posting about their entire process, and they’re posting the “progress” photos, they’re posting before and afters. There is this inherent visibility to that where maybe I’m just missing it, but rarely am I finding people saying, “Hey, I tried this. It was a horrible experience. It took my hormones months to recover.”
Claire: “And I was grumpy.”
Joy: Just horrible.
Claire: “I was irritable for weeks.” I can imagine that’s how I would feel if I put my body in that position is mentally it would be very challenging. And we’ve talked about body building before. But that I feel like is the line I hear a lot lately is, “Well, I’m just trying to see what my body is capable of. I just want to push it to this limit and see what happens.”
Joy: Yeah, let me just try to starve myself for months on end and workout when I have no energy.
Claire: You have to be in a defect in order to look that way. So we can go down that rabbit hole for hours. But that to me is an area where I’m still seeing a lot. You can’t put those photos side by side and not expect people to view your competition body as something that you’re saying that this is the improved version.
Joy: Yeah, right.
Claire: And whether or not you personally believe that when you’re putting that out there, that’s what other people are seeing.
Claire: There is a responsibility by people who post things. To say, “I’m just posting things. People can take it however they want.” To a degree, that’s true. You can’t control how people are going to react. But you have the responsibility to not post things that have… it’s one thing to post an opinion and somebody takes it the wrong way. And you’re like, “Well, I can’t control if you took that the wrong way.” If you’re posting a before and after picture, it does feel like your responsibility is to know that people are going to look at this and see the before and after. You’re going to look at the after and say, “This person is prioritizing that.” This person is inherently telling me that that is better than the before.
Joy: Yeah. There’s a lot of anti-fatness in there. There’s a lot. Prove me wrong. To quote JK, help me understand. That is one area that it’s hard for me to budge on that.
Claire: I hope JK doesn’t mind us using that all the time whenever we’re in a bad mood.
Joy: Help me understand. Just go to his podcast and listen to it because that is really good. That is just one area that I have a hard time budging because it does not make sense to me. It perpetuates this really horrible cycle of diet culture that we’re really trying to push against and make a difference. Now if someone has this influence in saying that this is what my body can do and you’re literally on a stage, people judging your body. What the actual [raspberry sound].
Claire: So I think before and afters take many forms. People are still posting them for a variety of things. But any time that you post a photo of your body next to another photo of your body – and this goes back to how we opened this conversation about people posting photos where they have visible rolls or cellulite, whatever, that in the past would have been really uncomfortable for them to post and they’re calling it out and saying, “I never would have used to post this photo, and now I’m learning how to be more comfortable with it or overlook it or just not see it” versus a person that just posts that photo and is like, “a day at the beach” and doesn’t even call it out. I think the opposite of that is still the before and after where it just invites you to pick apart every single piece of your body. That’s what I have to say about that.
Joy: That’s all we can wrap up in this episode. That’s going to be an ongoing discussion. Alright, let’s wrap up with a couple quick announcements and reminders. The teacher list is still in our highlights. You can go and support the Amazon wish lists for the teachers.
Claire: And I am going to be adding to that this week. I’ll post about it on our stories, if you’re a teacher. We’re recording Monday morning. I’ll probably post about it today or tomorrow and put those new stories up on Thursday after the episode comes out. So if you are a teacher who has missed the memo up until now and you want us to put up your Amazon wish list, email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It needs to be an Amazon wish list. We don’t have the bandwidth to post people’s individual lists of items. It’s just easier to handle the wish list with the address. Make sure you have it completely set up. It’s not hard to do. If you don’t know, Google it. And email it to us. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Tell us your name, what you teach, where you live. That just kind of helps people feel like they are a little bit more a part of your story. If you want to send a picture of your classroom, obviously without the kids in it, or a picture of yourself, feel free to do that. I’ll post those up. And then the older ones that we posted from a couple weeks ago are also in our Instagram highlights.
Joy: Great. Did we ever find a home for those pillow covers?
Claire: I don’t think so, no.
Joy: If you’re missing some pillow covers, please email us. And then I just want to say thank you to everyone who wrote about the colonoscopy advice. That was amazing advice. Thank you so much. As well as the dental products advice. I got a cavity last week. I always get cavities. I asked for advice for products that I can use, and I got some really good ones. So I will just keep posting those if you guys want to know the tips or how to prevent cavities, and I’ll let you know if it works. Alright, Pete and Kim broke up. Let’s just gloss over that. Blah, blah, blah.
Claire: Oh, Kim Kardashian. I was like, who? Pete and Kim?
Claire: Do we know them?
Joy: Yeah, Pete and Kim, you know.
Claire: Come on. I will share some of those colonoscopy tips. Maybe Joy after you get yours, you can be like, I tried this. I would do it differently next time. Alright guys, well thanks for joining us. You can find us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can find us online at joyanclaire.com. You can email us email@example.com. Don’t forget to support our sponsor, Ned. That’s helloned.com/JOY or use discount code JOY for 15% off your order. Don’t forget, they have a 30-day money back guarantee for first-time orders. So give it a try. You have nothing to lose. And support the products that support our podcast. Thank you, guys, so much for being here. We will talk to you next week.
Joy: Bye, guys.